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>> there is a saying that dr. king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i just try to live my life every day by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminate hunger, and we have a lot of work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: what a pleasure it is to welcome mary wilson to this
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program. it has been 50 years since she and the other supremes came together. a new commemoratives publication is out. mary wilson, we will get to a but a little walk around -- down memory lane. love away,ow our baby ♪ o love ♪n the name ♪ before you break my heart, think it over ♪ way lifeions of the used to be ♪
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♪ in you i put all my faith and trust ♪ ♪ someday we'll be together ♪ go?by. where did our love you want me no more ♪ >> i love watching those. tavis: we were talking about they hear styles and the clothes. there was an exhibit that opens in january. >> at the african-american museum in philadelphia. tavis: are we going to see some of this on display? >> one of the evidence i was telling you was burned up in mexico city.
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-- of its i was telling you about was bird apply in mexico city. one was stolen. the ones i have been on exhibit. they have been on exhibit for eight years on the -- and the rock-and-roll hall of fame museum has carried them. they have been all around the world. they opened up at the victoria and albert museum in london. that is so great. "edgown that we'v wore on sullian show," the array of colors are beautiful. they're in pretty good condition. it has been 50 years. tavis: tell me about the fashion, about the hair, the clothes. so much of the image of the supremes how to do with not just
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the sound but the look and you work that thing. >> we all loved glamour. we really did. we were playing dress up in our moms' clothes. a lot of people like lena horne we looked at as children and young girls and the glamour is what we wanted to do. we went to motown and what berry gordy noticed about this even though he turned down, we work the age of 16 -- were 15. they noticed how we were classy and we bought program will works -- pearls from w oolworths' on michigan avenue. we were always that way, even
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the cheap. i remember mrs. paul who was in the art department who said that we were like diamonds in the rough and they were there to polishes up. it was the adults and people like been a horn and or 3- average -- lena horne and dorthy dandridge. tavis: it is a dramatic shift between all of our stars and artists used to come on stage and the way so many artists come onstage today. it is like the audience -- they had a respect for the audience and they gave them the best in terms of how they look and sound. some change clothes 12 times but cannot salic. -- sing.
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fashion show.for >> a harmony was the thing. the more that you could harmonize, that was it. mrs. powell at motown, they showed us how. they give us all of their knowledge. we knew how to perform, we knew how to dress, and the singing was very important. we were into the singing, not to watch the money. there was hardly any money for that old. tavis: speaking of money. berry gordy turned down and the first record produced zero hits. >> we had about seven and we were called flops. we were called the no-hit supremes. but after seven records we had
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that first number one record which was "where did our love go" and we had a couple more which was a total of 12. i remember when berry said we put you with our top writing team. we were like yes, oh, wow. they were great. smokey robinson produced a lot of them. speaking of berry gordy, he has a new play that will be on broadway. i cannot wait to see it. i am very happy. i know that he worked very hard on that. i am very happy about that. motown got behind us and give us what we needed. they trained as which a lot of times people today, they make all this money, more money than we ever made. they do not have that training before hand as we did.
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we did a lot of workshops. when we have that first number one record we were already professionals. tavis: i am glad you said that. when the first hit came seven records in, -- >> look who is laughing now? i am sorry. i did not mean that. tavis: when they first hit came, you are ready for it. it also said something about motown. you got today and get a record deal. you are out of there. the same thing in television. if you're not hitting in the ratings the first couple of weeks. >> i have written several books. this is not the first one but this is the second. it was a bestseller. i am very happy that i did write a lot about that. motown's early give us everything. they really did. i am able 57 years letter to
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have a real life. it was then that i faxed them i give the credit to in terms of training as and giving that time to develop. it was really a good thing. >tavis: when you heard the stuff that they were writing, putting you on the best songwriters, did you immediately know or have a sense that now we're seeing the right stuff for us? did you know that? >> no. i see this all the time. i hearhated that record. we set a lot of harmony when we were four girls and we prided ourselves on being very talented. when we work given this record, we did not like it because we were singing "baby," and we were like, we do not think that is
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what we wanted to do as a group but it gives our start and put this on the map. you do not always like we'll have to do a lot of times and it became the formula for the supremes which was fine. after we said ok, we're ahead now. it was ok. tavis: how did the group last as long as it did and i say as long as it did because the most difficult thing to do is to have a group stayed together forever. >> especially girls. tavis: i am glad you said that. >> if you watch this sports, the guys in sports, they can fight and come back and they are cool. the girls, women, we're different. it is kind of hard. i thought we totally enjoyed doing what we are doing. i know i did. i was in heaven. i am still on haven't every time i am onstage and diane loves it and i know florence loved it. you talk to any girl like the
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rockettes. we talk about this. it is difficult for girls to stay together but we did stay together a long time. motown was one of the reasons and we enjoyed it. we were traveling all over the world. this was the stage where one day you'll be seeing before kings and queens because -- and we are laughing because we're in the project. that -- we had no idea that would become true and it did. when we had the first record we were in sweden but the future king of sweden. we hung out with all kind of people who were kings and queens. and there were. tavis: you hated that first -- which raises the obvious question. you have that first single. it raises the question, which
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won the you absolutely adored? i know you'll love all. >> i have to say because diane sang the lead, i never got into the lyrics as much. now that i am seeing them i realize some of those songs that were released in the 1960's are so relevant today. and my being 68 and a half or more than a half but anyway, 69. seeing all the songs now i realize how wonderful the lyrics are. songs like "reflections," "you can't hurry love," these are heavy songs. you cannot say which you love best like children or grandchildren. this was we had great songs like
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"stoned love," those were really wonderful. it is hard to say which ones. tavis: when diana ross left the group, what made you continue? you took it up to 1977. and diana ross left in 1970. >> what happened was i always say this. we wanted - dared to dream and we made our dreams come true even though we were in an infirmary where it was impossible dream. for black people to dare to dream. i think what happened to me after flo and diana was there, i realized i enjoyed what i was doing and what to do the rest of my life. -- wanted to do the rest of my life. i was happy when berry brought in gene. i stayed cause i love being on
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stage. i feel so blessed that i am doing something everything -- time i wake up, i am happy. i am a happy person. that is why i continued on hoping i could develop my talent and people would like me. now, to answer your question. let's talk about this. now i am doing things that i really love. i the supreme songs but i am -- she did the hits and that is what i am still going on. i have learned how to sing jazz. i say learned how to sing because this is what i do best. i do ballads. i believe in chasing dreams and placing bets ♪ and after all the learning i
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found my own niche as mary wilson and that is singing ballads. i produced this album, "the jazz show." i do this all over the world. tavis: you do pop and r&b all those years and you end up in a jazz. >> that is what i do. i was on line via the day and people talk about me like a dog. let me tell you. they say mary cannot sing or do this and i have found out what i know i can do. i am not like my favorite singer like to read the franklin -- lyn.ha franklh i was lucky meeting with this guy who wrote "stormy weather,"
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he put together the stage play and i am part that and so now i songs.l of lena horne's it is what i do well. tavis: you can-you mentioned people say nasty things online. tthat is why i did not read it. i am going to read the piece, not the comments. it can mess you up. all opinions are not created equal. since you went there, it is one thing to navigate that now. how did you navigate that in the day when all the attention was on diana ross? >> the attention was on me. i thought it was. sure did. i loved all of us. it makes me feel bad when people
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try to divide is in that way. i thought we were all killed. i thought we were all the best -- i thought we were all q cute the best. i always said that i was in the middle of a lot of times. when they moved me in the middle my spotlight with me. my spotlight was always on me. and not in an egotistical way but i would feel so blessed that i was happy doing what i was doing. tavis: here is this -- tom about this publication you took out of my hands. -- tell me about this. you have some great goes in here. >> it is the brainchild and he and i write together. he had a book on michael jackson. i wrote the forward to it and my two books, he also help me write
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my books but he is a wonderful author. he came up with this idea with a gentleman and decided that it would be their first publication and he said would you like to be part of it? it enters a lot of questions that a lot of fans think they are no. ink they know. it shows eight girls. it shows all that and there are lots of pictures. there is a much information in there. you see this one here is when we indorsed coca-cola. we were one of the first pop groups that endorsed coca-cola. tavis: i do not know of you can get that. >> we have a lot of firsts.
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the coca-cola and we did the first tv specials with the temptations. we have a lot of firsts. we put that in for the 50th anniversary. it is something that is special. tavis: you mentioned the truth that people can read in this publication versus the lies and -- i am not saying that your stuff is a lie. >> some people did. tavis: are there rimmer's after 50 years -- rumors after 50 years that stiller q? >> we were and where our friends. diana and i are friends and people want to believe we hate each other and that is what i would like to say that is not true. we love each other. we have different desires, different goals and i think that is what we're doing.
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we're living our lives we want to live them. we started singing when we were 13. we did not have a chance to grow on our own as our own self, our own skin. we were always connected here. life is very strange. sometimes it takes a long time to find out who you are and you need to do that alone. that is kind of wet our relationship is all about. finding out who we really are, not as a supreme but who we are as human beings and i know i have had that opportunity and i am thrilled about it. we're not friends the way we were then. we were friends, i have to say that. tavis: we talk about your solo work. how much performing do you still do? >> me? i am out there all the time. i came off a tour with bill wyman.
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i was like a rock -- in a rock- and-roll band with his group and i just finished a movie in detroit. i was born in mississippi. -- green port. we have time to talk about that? it is important. tavis: background is important. go ahead. >> i am now the spokesperson for an ngo company called haditha and the institute and the gore around the world fighting -- humpty dumpty andinstitute and o
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around the world finding unexploded bombs. i went to a commune where the entire family had been named. no arms and legs. this is one of my favorite charities. it is a much bigger than me. i think of all the awards on the walls for but then you want to feel like you have done something and this is one of those areas that i have. other charities that i like is out of new york and is the figure skaters in harlem. young children who are taught how to i skate. not just roller skates, i skate. it is nice to give to children. we did not have a lot growing up. those of us to have done so
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much, we need to bring attention to this kind of things so i am proud. tavis: you do stay busy. >> i stay busy. tavis: anything i have messed up? >> i do not know. i got the gowns. tavis: you got the exhibit in, the solo stuff, the magazine. >> is out there. -- it is all there. tavis: i am honored to have you here. i cannot believe -- >> my new record. been good to me." tavis: the new one is the rock- and-roll project. >> it is the best thing i have done on my own. that is also good but it is not commercial. my jazz is not commercial but it
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is what i enjoy doing. tavis: life has been good to you. >> i have enjoyed it. tavis: there is no way to calculate all the joy and love that the supremes brought to our lives. >> if i had to come back again i would come back as mary wilson, of the supremes but with a little more money. tavis: if you did i get back this way -- do not get back this way [inaudible] thanks for tuning in. that is our show for tonight. keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with anne lamott and her latest book
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on the power of prayer in your life. that is next time. we will see you then. >> there is a saying that dr. king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i just try to live my life every day by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminate hunger, and we have a lot of work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more.
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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: the funerals began today in newtown, connecticut, with the burials of two six-year old boys murdered on friday. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. most of tonight's newshour will focus on the shootings and their aftermath. ray suarez has the latest on the investigation and the reaction in connecticut and beyond. >> ifill: we talk with california senator dianne feinstein, who hopes to revive a law banning assault weapons.

Tavis Smiley
PBS December 17, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm PST

News/Business. Mary Wilson. (2012) Singer Mary Wilson. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 7, Mary Wilson 4, Berry Gordy 3, Lena Horne 3, Diana Ross 3, Diane 2, Diana 2, Berry 2, Mexico City 2, Sweden 2, U.s. 2, Sullian 1, Mrs. Powell 1, Michael Jackson 1, Dianne Feinstein 1, Mrs. Paul 1, Anne Lamott 1, Macneil Lehrer 1, Dorthy Dandridge 1, Lyn 1
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